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The USA is home to several of the world's most exciting cities, some truly mind-blowing landscapes, a strong sense of regionalism, a trenchant mythology, more history than the country gives itself credit for and, arguably, some of the most approachable natives in the world. The US was fashioned from an incredibly disparate population who, with little in common apart from a desire to choose their own paths to wealth or heaven, rallied around the ennobling ideals of the Declaration of Independence to forge the richest, most inventive and most powerful country on earth.

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Beer Garden evening in Blumenau with our wonderful hosts.: by margitpirsch, Views[3]
Just me...: by margitpirsch, Views[3]
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Latest stories from USA

USA July & August

Mon, 26 Aug 2019 | By nomad_kiwis | Views [45]

Mid July I flew with my friend and her partner to Los Angeles where I picked up a Triumph America 900cc as a rental and my friend bought a 2000 Harley Davidson Fatboy with 7,000 miles on it. We rode from LA out through Zion, Bryce Canyon, Route 12 &... Read more >

Screwed Again

Wed, 24 Jul 2019 | By vagabonds3 | Views [43]

VIETNAM VETERANS OFTEN BEMOAN THE LACK of fanfare upon their return to the “Land of the Big PX.”  And I guess I’m no exception. I returned from Vietnam on 24 July 1969, 50 years ago yesterday and, damn it, I deserved a celebratory ... Read more >

Almost Nome

Sun, 21 Jul 2019 | By vagabonds3 | Views [28]

THE BERING SEA WASN’T MUCH ROUGHER than the Gulf of Alaska and Maasdam took it in stride.  In order to make our ETA in Nome, 36 hours due north of Dutch Harbor, Captain Jutten upped our speed to 18 knots and, judging by the spray on deck, ... Read more >

Dutch Harbor

Fri, 19 Jul 2019 | By vagabonds3 | Views [30]

AS THE PUFFIN SHUFFLES, IT’S ABOUT 700 MILES from Kodiak to Unalaska and Dutch Harbor, a fishing port best known from the TV show, Deadliest Catch.  Wizard, Northwestern and the other crab fishing boats weren’t in when the Maasdam docked ... Read more >

Relocating Pets

Fri, 19 Jul 2019 | By mwollak | Views [46]

Bringing my best friend.  I have had Charlee for just over 2 years now.  I grew up with dogs and have always wanted to get a dog but it is a huge commitment in terms of time, money, and lifestyle changes.  However, when my therapist recommended ... Read more >

Work Permit Paperwork for Vietnam

Fri, 19 Jul 2019 | By mwollak | Views [167]

The bureaucratic hoops have by far been the most frustrating part of the process thus far.  I had to collect, notarize, and authenticate too many documents to count and the process has been so confusing that I have oscillated between "I've ... Read more >

Kodiak in the Sunshine

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 | By vagabonds3 | Views [53]

A WHILE AFTER WE LEFT SITKA ON MONDAY EVENING, Connie and I watched as the harbor pilot Cirque du Soleil-ed from the Maasdam’s rope ladder onto the launch that would return him to port.  His isn’t a job to envy in heavy seas. ... Read more >


Mon, 15 Jul 2019 | By vagabonds3 | Views [48]

WE WERE AWAKENED AT 4AM BY THE BLARING of the Maasdam’s emergency alarm.  No, we hadn’t collided with an iceberg Titanic -style, rather a smoke alarm detected an electrical overload.  The captain reassured us that the crew had ... Read more >

Ketchikan and Misty Fjords National Wilderness

Sun, 14 Jul 2019 | By vagabonds3 | Views [70]

THE CAPTAIN DID A WONDERFUL JOB OF PARALLEL parking in Ketchikan, squeezing the Maasdam between the Celebrity and Carnival ships, while another, smaller, cruise ship is anchored offshore.  It isn’t yet 8AM and we can see hoards from the ... Read more >

Photos: Alaska

Sat, 13 Jul 2019 | By vagabonds3 | Photo Gallery

Cruising Alaska, Russia and Japan
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Seattle to Ketchikan

Sat, 13 Jul 2019 | By vagabonds3 | Views [64]

WE ARE GETTING PRETTY COMFORTABLE USING UBER.  As simple as the ap is, it’s still a little foreign to old farts like me.  But we successfully took Uber from Seattle’s Union Station to SeaTac, where we rented a car, then drove to ... Read more >

Coast Starlight

Thu, 11 Jul 2019 | By vagabonds3 | Views [63]

YOU CAN SEE THE BEST OF AMERICA ON AMTRAK.  And some of the worst, too.  The Rockies, the California Coast and the Cascades are beautiful.  Likewise Union Stations in both Denver and LA.  Unfortunately you must enter the cities through ... Read more >

Hooray For Hollywood

Mon, 8 Jul 2019 | By vagabonds3 | Views [67]

HOLLYWOOD BECKONED AND WE COULDN’T RESIST — even though I admit I didn’t know half of the starred names on the Walk of Fame.  But first we had to stop at the Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall.  Gehry, you may ... Read more >

California, Here We Come

Sun, 7 Jul 2019 | By vagabonds3 | Views [62]

COMPARED TO TRAVEL TICKETING SITES like kayak and orbitz, Amtrak is woefully lacking.  There are only a handful of trains but there are few routing options.  They don’t provide a map or even list the intermediate stops.  Which explains ... Read more >

What Have I Been Up To For The Past 4 Years?

Sat, 6 Jul 2019 | By mwollak | Views [125]

I know it's been a long time - too long - since I've written anything but sometimes life comes at you fast and you just have to do everything in your power to keep your head above water.  Professional Life: I've stayed at the same school and ... Read more >

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A GALLON of Milk!!!

| By mel_collison | Views [4257]

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Mountains as far as you can see.: by baba, Views[528]
Mountains as far as you can see.

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